Few days after Niger Delta militants gave a month ultimatum to South African companies to leave Nigeria, the agitators have warned Nigerians to stay away from such companies for their safety.
Three militant groups; Niger Delta Watchdogs, the Niger Delta Volunteers, and Niger Delta Strike Force, had on February 28, 2017, asked South African firms to leave the country within a month following the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.
The coalition of militant groups said it would blow up more than 18 investments in Nigeria owned by South Africans if they failed to leave the West African country.
A new militant group in the oil-rich region, known as the Niger Delta Warrior, has expressed its support for the three groups.
A statement made available to our correspondent on Thursday via electronic mail and signed by General Henry Okon Etete indicated that nothing would stop them from attacking firms like MTN, Shoprite, MultiChoice and Escom.
The statement read, “We have studied the recent press release by the Niger Delta Watchdogs (NDWD) in conjunction with the Niger Delta Volunteers (NDV)and Niger Delta Strike Force with great concern; we have seen that it is for the interest of the nation and Nigerians in general.
“We, therefore, give our total/unalloyed support to the joint action. We hereby declare our total support and will join the reprisal attacks on the companies and persons from South Africa living and doing businesses in Nigeria.
“We are already negotiating with our colleagues in the struggle. This is for the redemption of our people from the ‘South Africans’, the bloody vampires, we must work together for the success of this mission.
“This shall be the first of its kind and our actions cannot be contained; the one-month ultimatum issued is sacrosanct, and we are waiting for the Nigerian government to close down the South African companies as directed before the expiration of the dateline.
“Nothing will stop us from attacking MTN, Shoprite, Multi-choice, Escom and others. We want to warn innocent Nigerians patronising these people to tread with caution as we cannot guarantee their safety.”
The militants expressed shock state governments had hijacked the fact-finding visit to Niger Delta states by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, adding that they were disappointed over the entire arrangement
According to them, “Niger Delta is an area bedevilled with marginalisation, poverty, hazardous environment, misery, environmental degradation, unemployment etc., that have witnessed series of agitations from both armed and unarmed youths.
“Yet, the visit of the Acting President of the Federation did not carry along the agitators in the arrangements. Those who matter most in this fact-finding mission are the armed and the unarmed youths that are in the forefront of the agitation.
“They are the ones that have the capacity to do harm to the economy of the nation and yet, the government, in collaboration with their political parties, is alienating and shielding these potent forces from the Acting President.
“Indeed, it is a pity. Let it be known to the Acting President: that his fact-finding visit can only be meaningful when he hears from the agitators or their representatives.”
The coalition of militant groups, however, called on Acting President Osinbajo to invite representatives of agitators in Niger Delta so as to get a first-hand information on the way forward for the region.
“It is a well-known fact that the same people collaborating with the multinational oil companies to deprive us of employment, skills acquisitions, education, capacity building, contracts/supply are the ones meeting with the Acting President during the visit; the question is ‘what fact can they give’.
“We demand that the Acting President should invite the representatives of the agitators/agitating groups to give first-hand information to him, as this will bring the desired long-lasting peace, harmony and development to the region ‘if implemented,” they said.